Motives behind Kamra attack
Dr. Raja Muhammad Khan
The terrorist attack on PAF Base Kamra was neither the first nor the last attack on the armed forces installations by the terrorists. Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) accepted the responsibility of this terrorist act like many of its earlier attacks.
Not only this attack, but this body of terrorists killed 12 passengers of Gilgit based coaster on the same day and boldly accepted that responsibility too. These poor passengers were travelling back to their home towns to celebrate Eid with their families. The brave men of armed forces foiled terrorist act on PAF Base and killed all nine terrorists in the process and cleared the base in a matter of few hours.
The terrorists selected the wee hours for their attack on PAF Base. In fact, this was the time of Sehari and one tends to relax during these hours. Furthermore, it was 27th Ramazan and on this particular day of Ramadan, Muslims mostly remain busy in prayers and recitation of Holy Quran. Nevertheless, valiant men of Pakistan Air Force, through their quick response did not allow the terrorists to reach over to the target and annihilated all of them through their operational preparedness. Not only armed forces men, but the local police of the area also provided whole-hearted support to the Kamra defenders. The nation appreciates and salutes the Kamra defenders for their operational preparedness.
Whereas many analysts believe that this attack is the response of General Ashfaq Pervaz kayani’s statement against terrorist outfits and his determination to continue fighting these elements for bringing peace in Pakistan. In his address at Pakistan Military Academy on August 14, 2012, General Kayani said that, “Pakistan’s crisis was internal, related to a general embrace of extremism and violence.” He also said that, “the trouble in Pakistan was of our own making and had to be tackled internally.” This indeed was a great step of Army Chief to accept the reality and suggest diagnosis for the long-term. On its part, while accepting the responsibility of this terrorist act, the spokesman of TTP, Ehsanullah Ehsan said that we have planned this attack quite earlier and were waiting for the right moment. He also said that, TTP appreciates such attacks on armed forces and thus rightly, “We are proud of it.” Overall this was third terrorist attack by TTP on PAF base Kamra.
The conduct of this terrorist attack and many others by this terrorist organization indicate that it has no sympathy with the state of Pakistan or Pakistani interests anyhow. Since its formal establishment in 2007, the terrorist organization has carried out attacks against many national installations and other places, where it killed thousands of innocent people and also attacked on armed forces of Pakistan. Its attacks in mosques, Imambargahs and on other places of religious gathering, where it killed the Muslims, is a clear indication that the organization has no connection with Islam. In fact, the acts of TTP are totally controversial to Islam and ideology of Pakistan. By using Islam as a cover for their nefarious acts, TTP is defaming Islam and traditional peaceful society of Pakistan. In fact, it is an agenda of TTP to harm Islam and Pakistan. This fact has to be understood by our youth and those standing at the fence. Media needs to highlight these acts for the general awareness of the people of Pakistan.
The terrorist attack on Kamra Airbase has raised many logical questions. The most significant being that TTP’s major terrorist attacks are directed against the strategic national installations of Pakistan, which directly relates to the security and defence of the country. This means that it is working against the state of Pakistan. Generally such like acts are committed by the adversarial state against their enemy state(s). This agenda of TTP and its pattern of implementation can be further interpreted in two ways. First, this non-state actor organization has assumed for itself the role of enemy and the second, it is acting as an instrument of enemy state of Pakistan.
For the last few years, the pattern of its attacks clearly reveals that it tends to reduce the fighting potentials of Pakistani armed forces, which Pakistan will use only against its enemy state in case of war, rather against militants and terrorist groups like TTP.
Attack on Mehran Base Karachi in 2011, by TTP, where it damaged two early warning P-3C Orion aircraft; was aimed at reducing the surveillance potential of Pakistan Navy along critical approaches in the open seas and its own area of responsibility. These aircraft were not meant for use against the TPP. Similarly, the target at the Minahas Base, Kamra was the spying aircraft of Pakistan Air Force. The objective again is denying PAF of its fundamental necessity of early warning against any offensive by an enemy state. Attacks on GHQ and ISI were again aiming to cripple the command elements and strategic information gathering capacity.
Immediately after the attack, a report of ‘The New York Times, spread the rumour that, “Pakistan was storing its nuclear arsenal at Kamra.” In a way, this newspaper attempted to create an impression that, location of Pakistani nuclear weapons is in the knowledge of TTP or other terrorists. This has been the theme of US media, CIA, Pentagon and RAW. Indeed, after the terrorist attack on PAF base Kamra, Indian and American media has particularly launched a media campaign, with particular emphasis on the safety and security aspects of Pakistan’s nuclear arsenals. The fact is that Kamra Base has nothing to do with nuclear weapons. These connections reveal that, TTP’s acts have some connections with above mentioned foreign institutions too.
The TTP or such like terrorist organizations may have their religious names and terrorist motives concealed in the garb of religion, but Pakistani nation has to assess and understand the true motives of such organizations.
The pattern of terrorism by TTP and other militant organizations clearly dictates an anti-state agenda. They work as the instrument of anti-Pakistan forces to internally destabilize and weaken Pakistan to a level that any foreign power can easily launch its aggression against Pakistan in the days to come without facing resistance from its armed forces. Should the valiant sons of Pakistan let this happen? Pakistani nation as a whole has to understand this strategy of its enemies and take all measures to foil them.